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Chai Time: Kheema Pav (Sloppy Jai)

Chai Time: Kheema Pav (Sloppy Jai)

Chai Time is an ongoing series on Spicewalla’s IGTV featuring chef and Spicewalla founder Meherwan Irani cooking Indian dishes LIVE in his home and answering all your cooking qs. Check out the video for Kheema here to learn some tips and tricks that only an Indian mom or aunt could teach you! Follow us on instagram to tune in live and join the conversation.

Straight from the Chai Pani vault, this recipe is a fun take on that quintessential Indian street food, Kheema Pav. Made with spiced lamb hash that is simmered in a stew of tomatoes, ginger, and aromatic spices, the kheema is then piled high on top of buttered, grilled pav (aka Indian buns) and topped with chopped onions, cilantro, and chutneys.  It's the most awesome sloppy joe you'll ever have.


1 lb ground lamb
2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup yogurt
2 cups crushed tomato
2 Tbsp Oil of choice
Handful chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp Spicewalla Cumin Seed
Pinch of Spicewalla Black Peppercorn
1 Tbsp diced ginger
1 Tbsp diced serranos
2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste*
2 tsp Spicewalla Coriander Powder
1 tsp Spicewalla Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Spicewalla Cumin Powder
1 tsp Spicewalla Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp Spicewalla Garam Masala
Spicewalla Sicilian Sea Salt, to taste

1 Pav (or any soft dinner roll. Hawaiian rolls work best)

*Ginger garlic paste is simply equal parts peeled ginger and garlic pureed/blended together. Blend equal amounts of peeled garlic and peeled fresh ginger (1/4 cup of each into a smooth paste in a food processor - a teaspoon of oil will help it blend smoothly. Will keep refrigerated in a glass jar for at least a month. This stuff is gold - it makes a great base rub on chicken and meats). If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince a tablespoon of ginger and garlic and mix together.


  1. In a large pot add oil and heat.
  2. Add cumin seed and a pinch of black peppercorn. Let sputter then add the diced yellow onion.
  3. Let onions get golden brown and then add diced ginger and diced serranos. 
  4. Saute for a few minutes. 
  5. Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute until the raw smell is gone. 
  6. Add coriander powder, turmeric, cumin powder, red chili powder
  7. Add a handful of chopped cilantro.
  8. Saute spices for 1 minute then ground lamb and mix well with the ingredients in the pan making sure nothing sticks to the bottom and then brown the lamb over medium-high heat until fully cooked.
  9. Add yogurt and continue cooking for 20 minutes then add crushed tomato, sugar, vinegar, and garam masala. 
  10. Check for salt and let cook for 10 minutes.


Griddle Pav (Indian bread) on both sides with butter. Pile kheema high on the bottom bun, drizzle with sweet yogurt, tamarind and green chutney, garnish with chopped cilantro & diced red onions. Top with the other half of the Pav. 


  • That’s a great question, Stephanie! Tamarind chutney can be found at Indian grocery stores, potentially from an Indian restaurant offering provisions near you, or even purchased online. In the meantime, we’ll be sure to share your interest and inquiry with our culinary lead!

    Spicewalla Team on
  • How do you do the tamarind chutney?

    Stephanie on
  • This made our day, Aaron! Thanks so much for sharing, and tag us on IG next time you make it!

    Spicewalla Fam on
  • Thank you so much for this. I grew up in Asheville and ate at Chai Pani countless times but moved as an adult. It’s been so much fun to relive my fond memories by making this dish.

    Aaron on

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